How to relieve sunburn, from the best natural remedies to after sun treatments we love

Sunburn can affect us all during summer. [Photo: Getty]
Sunburn can affect us all during summer. [Photo: Getty]

No matter how sensible we are in the sun, even the best of us are prone to a spot of unfortunate sunburn now and then – especially during the UK heatwave.

Whether you’re wrongly relying on makeup with SPF, not reapplying your suncream often enough, or wearing the wrong factor for your skin-type, sunburn can be sore, stingy and agonising.

But fear not: it can be treated.

Whether you’re after a natural remedy that you can do from your home with just a few items from your kitchen cupboard, or want to know to best after sun products on the market, we have you covered.

Dab a soaked cloth over your body

Soaking a cloth in ice water is perhaps the easiest, fastest and effective way to treat your sunburn: simply find a large, soft cloth or towel and drench it in icy water before dabbed it gently over the affected areas.

While ice water will do the trick, there are other ingredients you can find in your kitchen cupboard that can provide even better relief.

Many swear by using apple cider vinegar to treat sunburn. This is because vinegar contains acetic acid, a component of aspirin that can help relieve the inflammation of sunburn. Simply soak your towel and dab away.

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar in the cupboard, you’ll probably have a pint of milk in the fridge, right?

Everyday Roots suggest that fridge-cold milk relieves the burning on the skin while creating a layer of protein to help soothe and protect the skin

Lastly, why not make a brew?

The tannic acid and theobromine is thought to remove the burning from sunburn while catechins in tea repair skin damage, One Good Thing notes.

Simply boil a large pitcher of water, dropping in three tea bags and let brew to a dark colour. Once the tea is cooled to lukewarm temperature, simply soak a towel and dab all over your body.

Top tip: it’s best to do this one in the buff so you don’t stain your clothes.

There are lots of effect natural remedies for sunburn. [Photo: Getty]
There are lots of effect natural remedies for sunburn. [Photo: Getty]

Soak in an ice cold bath

Ice cold baths hardly sound dreamy, but your body will thank you if you have extreme sunburn.

Simply fill up your tub on the coldest setting, or ramp it up a level but pouring in a bag of ice.

The coolness on your skin will provide instant relief, and the longer you soak, the longer the comfort with last.

To provide extra relief, some swear by swapping your bath salts for baking soda.

Yep: baking soda has alkaline and antiseptic properties which soothe sunburn, and help reduce itching and inflammation, but for this to work, your water will have to be a little warmer that ice cold for the soda to fizz to action.

Lastly, why not sit in a bath of porridge?

Ok, not literally, but its widely believed that oatmeal is a fantastic treatment for sunburn.

“I would say that oatmeal is the only effective natural soothing agent,” Dr Emma Wedgeworth, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation spokesperson told Yahoo Style UK. “Simply put inside a Muslin cloth in the bath.”

“I would advise using a bland, un-fragranced medical moisturiser kept in the fridge so as to cool the skin,” Dr Wedgeworth says.

Aloe vera, aloe vera, aloe vera

Aloe vera is your best friend when it comes to sunburn.

The gel contained in the succulent plant species is widely known as being the best treatment for sunburnt skin.

The natural gel in the plant cools and soothes the skin which moisturising and preventing peeling.

So what’s the method? You have to extract the gel from the aloe vera leaf, place in the fridge for half an hour, before gently applying the cream the the affected areas.

Now, if you don’t live in a tropical rainforest and have aloe vera plant to hand (hey, who does?) then then don’t worry because aloe vera can be found in most of our favourite after sun treatments.

Read on…

After sun treatments: our favourite three

After Sun Lotion NUXE Sun, £16

Ambre Solaire After Sun Cooling Face Sheet Mask, £2.50


Vichy Ideal Soleil Body After Sun SOS Balm, £12

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The dangers of relying on beauty products that contain SPF

Hilarious photographs prove that wearing ripped jeans in a heatwave is a bad idea

Mum issues sun cream warning after children are burnt despite wearing SPF 50